Essex's Will Jefferson and the Worcestershire batsman Kadeer Ali are among 15 players, named today by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who will be considered for the 2003-04 National Academy intake.

"As with last year, we wanted to concentrate our minds on the kind of players who might be invited to the National Academy this winter," said Rod Marsh, the ECB National Academy Director. "Creating such a list allows us to concentrate our resources and to film, study and analyse these players in-depth, which will enable us to create individual programmes for them in advance.

"This is by no means an exclusive list and if other players perform well in the remainder of the season then they will also be considered for selection. Injured England players or other cricketers with international experience, not selected for next winter's England overseas tours, will also be considered.

"As this year's National Academy programme and tour coincides with the Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh, no U19 players are being considered, however we are planning a series of joint training sessions with the squad prior to their departure."

David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, will announce the final Academy squad, along with the England winter touring parties, at the end of the season. They will start their programme on Sunday, October 12, and will be based for the first time at the new facility at Loughborough University. The squad will tour Malaysia and India in the New Year.

Provisional list of Academy players Kadeer Ali (Worcestershire), Simon Francis (Somerset), Alex Gidman (Gloucestershire), Will Jefferson (Essex), Shaftab Khalid (Worcestershire), Michael Lumb (Yorkshire), Tom Lungley (Derbyshire), Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire), Philip Mustard (Durham), Graham Napier (Essex), Kevin Pietersen (Nottinghamshire), Matthew Prior (Sussex), Bilal Shafayat (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Graham Wagg (Warwickshire).